Mala Shop

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Elephant Wisdom Turquoise Wrist Mala

A work in progress...

I photographed this unfinished wrist mala before I shipped it, but I wanted to show it anyway. It was a very personal custom wrist mala for my friend. It includes 21 turquoise beads with a turquoise guru bead, quartz crystal spiral bead at the 11th spot, and a sterling silver elephant charm on the cotton tassel. The elephant symbolizes all the wisdom and strength of elephants.

I wish I'd photographed this after it was finished, but the darned elephant was in a hurry to get to its owner, so I tossed it into a little box and then into a padded envelope and on its way. I've heard he (she?) is happy in the new home. Thanks, Jan.
Hello Holly!

My wonderful sister Holly actually works at a museum in Hemet, California, (Western Science Center) that features mammoth and mastodon bones! More elephant wisdom.
New Artfire Shop—

I opened a new online shop on Artfire in order to make more malas for people who enjoy them. It's a fun site— lots of creative energy and artists/artisans— a friendly set up. Check it out if you have a chance. Also, there's now a way to purchase malas right on this blog—you can see it on the right. It goes through Paypal, so no one keeps any personal information or account numbers. You also don't have to sign up with any sites.
And that's all the news that fits to print today. Enjoy your days and nights. Take some time to meditate and create.

Friday, May 21, 2010

A New Window in San Francisco

Unakite, Coral, and Silk Mala

The buyer for the gift shop at The Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco recently invited me to send some malas to show there. I feel honored to be represented with other artists and artisans who make spiritually-oriented art from all over the world. It will also be a great excuse for a field trip!

I'm excited about helping the museum and its mission of creating cross-cultural education and awareness of the dispersal of Africans and African culture throughout the world. I've always loved Africa, ever since I was in sixth grade and had a teacher who taught in Kenya for a couple of years. He brought back movies of the dancing and singing, and musical instruments like thumb pianos. Watching the dancing really affected my dancing style as a teenager; the top of the body holding still while the hips and legs shook and waved. Lots of fun trying, even though I couldn't do it right. So...even though I'm not planning a trip to Africa anytime soon, I feel closer.

This was also a great excuse to create a group of wholesale malas. These will only be available through retail shops, not in my online shops.

Thanks, MOAD! I can't wait to go visit.

About the new dog—boy, she is a sweetie. She's so calm for a three-month-old lab puppy. She likes her "sniffs" on a leash around the neighborhood, but doesn't go far. She's enjoying her puppy class. She's a definite chow hound, very food-motivated. She's all black, so when she goes in the backyard at night she disappears completely. She is complete sweetness, a great dog to hug. It's lovely making malas as she lies by my feet, looking out at the flowers in the garden. And of course, I talk to her all day long. She also lets me do my morning meditations. Yay!

Peace to you!

Monday, May 10, 2010


This is Stella. She is three months old. You can't see her in the dark, but boy can you hear her at night!

She's an English Labrador. She'll grow up to be strong and a bit stocky—slung lower and broader than an American Labrador.
She has the funniest, most gentle disposition. The breeder called her Miss Personality but as soon as we saw her, we called her Tank because she is built like one. She's very playful. But Tank isn't a respectable girl's name, so Stella popped to mind.

Like that scene in Streetcar Named Desire where Marlon Brando stands at the bottom of the stairs and bellows "Stellaah!" Ladies, take a minute to watch this. Really, you need to.

Ah yes, Stella is here. Night times are not just for sleeping anymore, but for caring for the baby.

All this is good. Yay! Oh yes, it's good to have another mala dog. And this one lies still for a while.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Ash Cloud and Interdependence

The view of clean air and ocean from SRF Fellowship in Encinitas, California

Just a quick note about the ash cloud in Europe.
I've had one delivery slowdown because of the ash cloud in Europe, apparently. Boy, does this ever make you aware of how interconnected this world is! Something halfway around the world affects you, wherever you live, in so many ways.

I'm sure the delivery won't take too long, but I find it fascinating that the USPS told me that deliveries were stopped for a while and resumed on about April 22nd because of the cloud.
What else could they do? You can't fly in that stuff.

A few years ago, San Diego county had a second really bad fire. People from all over the county, thousands of people, were evacuated. Even those on the coast had to leave. The feeling of disruption is intense during times like this, and everyone has lots of extra adrenaline. It was a very good time to pray and meditate, and I felt especially close to the Buddhas and my teacher during that time.

I guess the point of this post is that I send lots of love to that region and the people living there. I hope that the air quality isn't causing too much suffering for those with asthma, COPD, and other lung conditions.

And it just goes to show you, it's easier to relate to other's problems when they affect you in some way directly. Which is kind of sad, isn't it? But I guess otherwise, we'd all walk around feeling terrible all the time. How to let in enough empathy to feel connected with suffering without being overwhelmed? What Would Buddha Do? Or Say?

Bless those little packages on their way to waiting hands. Bless those hands


Sunday, May 2, 2010

More Than You'll Ever Ask About Wearing Malas

Garden Buddha Wearing a Peruvian Opal Mala

From my mala shop profile:
There are different beliefs about this depending on who you ask. It's really up to you. In many Yogic tradition it's very common and considered positive to wear malas. In some Tibetan Buddhist traditions, if you use a mala for sacred practice it's customary to treat it sacredly—not necessarily to display it. However, His Holiness the Dalai Lama wears his around his wrist when not using it, and he always looks so happy. He's practicing constantly in everything he does, so I think that's a good example.

If your practice is more informal, or if you just want your mala to be jewelry that reminds you to have a sacred or positive outlook, then I say please go ahead and wear it. Even if it's used only as a necklace or bracelet, I've put lots of good energy into making it and it will serve to remind you to stay focused and positive.

When in doubt, ask your teacher or close spiritual friend, if you have one.And follow your heart. It won't lie to you.

Peace! Much Happiness to you on this gorgeous Sunday.